Alright, so I have to say first off that this idea is not something that I came up with, and it’s also not something that I am perfect at. I still let myself get overwhelmed by my never-ending To-Do list from time to time. I will say though, that this simple way of approaching what needs to be done today can tip the scales in your favor in the midst of the power struggle between you and your To-Do list. You know what I’m talking about…you have those things that you would love to do, but you find yourself not even having time to think about those things because of all of the things that you have to do. And you find yourself so overwhelmed by your To-Do list that you find it hard to figure out where to start. Or maybe there are those big huge things that you want to do, but you’re so terrified by them that you just do everything else to keep yourself from having to tackle the big challenges.
I first read about the idea of “Winning the Day” over at J&M’s blog a little while ago, and it was as if a lightbulb had been turned on. I figured if I could break down my goals into something as simple as this, even I could manage that ;). So here’s the basic idea…instead of being stuck in that place where you can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel because you’re so overwhelmed that you might as well be blindfolded, begin by setting reasonable goals each day for that day. Break down your big To-Do’s in such a way that you have 2-3 things each day, and if you can complete those 2-3 goals you will have “won the day”. Now you want to challenge yourself in the goals that you choose, but you also want to make sure that they are legitimately achievable. Then, if you complete those tasks and want to keep going you can, but if that’s all you’re able to get done, you can still call it a day and settle into your warm, cozy couch knowing that you accomplished what you set out to and that you Won the Day!
So what does that look like in practice? It will be different for everyone and it can be different from day to day, but I usually start my daily project list with the things that I have to do every day regardless of what else is going on, before I add in my 2-3 goals from my ongoing To-Do list. For me that is things like emails, blogging, etc. Next I’ll look through my To-Do list and decide which things are the most pressing and need to be done first, and that helps me decide what 2-3 To-Do items will be added to my “win the day” list. It’s not always easy to remember to take the time to put together a “win the day” plan of action, but it is definitely worth it! After going full-time doing photography, I had Amanda create this little chalkboard reminder for me so that I will see it every day and make a list to stay focused and also be able to feel like I accomplished what I set out to each day. Focusing on winning the day also allows me to feel like I can take time for stuff I enjoy dong like shooting film for fun or just relaxing and listening to music 😉
So today, don’t get bogged down in how many things are on your To-Do list, but instead focus on accomplishing those 2-3 things from your list that it will take to Win the Day!
What are those 2-3 things for you today? Or what are some things you’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t been able to because of the weight of your To-Do list?